Domaine Batard-Langelier : Return to the vineyard 2023

Muscadet, Maisdon sur Sèvre

Septembre 2023

At Domaine Batard Langelier, I’m greeted by Jérémie’s voice from the back of the cellar.  His face is smiling, but tired from the harvest that has just ended. All that’s left to pick is the Cabernet Sauvignon, and before long everything will be in the cellar.

This vintage has been a real challenge, especially from June onwards, when mildew pressure was very high. But now that everything’s in and we can make an initial assessment, it’s a generous vintage with musts that have retained good acidity.

jérémie au pressoir

Climatology in 2023

Winter was rather cold and dry.

The fairly early budburst gave rise to fears of possible losses in the event of late frosts, which arrived at the end of April, yet caused little damage to the estate’s vines.

Spring remained fairly dry, but fine weather, favoring good vegetative development.  Flowering was rapid and even at the beginning of June, a classic date for the region. 

The weather then deteriorated after flowering, with frequent heavy rain and cool temperatures. All the ingredients were there for mildew to develop.

The inter-rows had become quite green. Used to drier springs, Jérémie uses discs to cut the roots of the plants in the inter-rows, which then stay in place and dry out to form a mulch. This year, with all this humidity, the passage of the discs kept the weeds growing like crazy.

Jérémie kept a constant eye on the plots to intervene and maintain protection against mildew, but the plots were almost all affected except for those in the crus.

From the end of August onwards, the weather turned hot, very hot, with temperatures approaching 32°C.

Harvest 2023

The harvest began on September 5 and ended on Friday the 15th. Ten intense days with daily, early-morning picking. To avoid the high temperatures, harvesting (mechanical, and manual for the Crus and Didascalie) started at 5 a.m. (until midday), with cellar work starting at 4 a.m. to put the must settled from the previous day into tanks.

It’s easy to understand Jérémie’s exhausted smile, after a summer of fighting mildew and early-morning harvesting.


But the smile is there nevertheless, because after a severe sorting of the harvest, the bunches brought in are beautiful and juicy, and the average yield is 50 hl/ha, which hasn’t happened for several vintages.


The fermentations have all started on their own.

The grapes had reached good ripeness, while retaining good acidity (up to 6 g/l H2SO4 eq for the Folle Blanche used for the Pensées Nocturnes cuvée).

Château Thébaud and Monnière-Saint Fiacre : Ambassador Estate

To promote the Muscadet crus, the producers who make these wines get together for blind tastings and evaluate each other’s cuvées, in order to distinguish which ones might be selected to represent their cru at promotional events for the appellation.

The two cuvées from the Batard Langelier estate were not only selected as ambassadors, they also won the tasting committee’s “coup de coeur”.

This recognition from fellow vignerons means a great deal to Jérémie Batard, as it was awarded on a blind, peer-to-peer basis.

New in 2023: Skin Contact!

A trial of pellicular maceration (skin contact) is underway with around 15 hl.

The last grapes harvested are left in the press to ferment, this time on their skins. The cap is punched down every day. 

These are Melon de Bourgogne grapes from the Gustaie plot (gneiss soils).

Jérémie plans to rack the must after 10 days of maceration

Pensées Nocturnes 2021 is Ready!

Traditional method sparkling wine

composed of 70% Folle blanche and 30% Melon de Bourgogne

Zero dosage.

The wine is aged on lattes for 15 months.

Aging the Crus in Amphore

Since last year, Jérémie has been continuing his experiments in 5 and 10 hl stoneware jars.

They are used for the ageing the Château-Thébaud and Monnières-Saint Fiacre vintages on lees.

Fifty percent of the 2021 and 2022 vintages are being aged in these containers, with the remainder being aged in conventional underground glass-lined tanks.

The results are very interesting, particularly in terms of mouthfeel, with a lot of silkiness added.

Vine Theft

At Domaine Batard Langelier, too, there was theft !

not of grapes, but of VINES, including 30 baby Folle Blanche vines planted in May.

The thieves tore off the vines with their stakes; a job for saboteurs who didn’t know what they were really doing, as some of the roots were still in place!

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